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Old 04-23-2014, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
14,444 posts, read 7,948,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I think for most 18-year-olds it seems impossibly remote. Hell, when I retired at age 61 I didn't really ever expect to see 70, not because I had health problems or had a family history of relatives dying young, but just because 70 (in my eyes) was totally impossible, completely outrageous, simply unthinkable. 70 might be OK for others, but not for me. Well, I am now 70 and still alive. It is beyond weird.

I want to be like you when I grow up. Retirement for me will be when I just can't take it anymore. Which seems to be just around the corner now.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:17 AM
 
2,575 posts, read 4,697,198 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XRiteMA98 View Post
retirement age is not something set in stone. Therefore to me the "ideal" age should be different form person to person.

Retirement depends on many factors like life style and what you want to do with yourself. I know people who retired early only to open a business of some sort. Others retire overseas. Others travel. Others move to Florida. It has to do with health, finances and life styles. In all cases it requires planning.
I agree, there's simply no one-size-fits-all. There are far too many variables. My brother just retired at age 67 in January after a long career as a defense engineer. He's financially very well off, but liked his job, so it took him a couple years t make the decision. His company helped him decide by cutting everyone's benefits to save money. When a large chunk of vacation time allotment disappeared and employees had to pay more toward their health insurance, that told him it was time.

My SIL and I were all gung-ho for him to retire at 65. He has several time-consuming hobbies, and he and my SIL have a great marriage, so we figured the transition to retirement wouldn't be quite as difficult for him as it is for some people who don't know what to do with themselves if they aren't working, or don't enjoy being around their spouse 24/7. But some of his friends and colleagues thought he was crazy to retire, even at 67! People truly have different opinions about it.

Me, I'm semi-retired, doing science writing and editing for some clients from home, but I occasionally take on some (poorly) paid work at the non-profit where I regularly volunteer, partly to get out of the house. Living alone and working from home in a house surrounded by woods but with only one other house nearby is more isolating than I like, so for me, some part-time work outside the house is more for my mental and social well-being than financial reasons.

Regardless of how ones approaches retirement, however, it's never too soon to start socking away money for your retirement - so that you can have one at all.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:30 AM
 
13,345 posts, read 25,601,842 times
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I do think knowing older people is the first sense many of us get about our own older age. I watched my aunt retire at 59 after working for the city all her life and saw how pensions work and not overspending, etc. (I am going to visit her next week- she's 88, fragile and still sharp minded, and we're going to do interesting day trips). I didn't think hard about retirement until age 48, when I got a serious mortgage and returned to a former job (for the fourth time) because of its real old-fashioned pension plan. I think, if I were a young person now, I might think of the 403b plans at my jobs more seriously at a younger age, since I've been reading up online and all about money and planning. Before, I just didn't have a clue, didn't know anybody of an age, and had no idea about how things worked. I also hadn't been able to make the decision early to sort of pound out working for a living, and was still going back to school/changing jobs/changing direction with a desire to find work I would love. As I say now, nice try, no cigar. At 61, I'm satisfied with my efforts.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:34 AM
 
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If I remember correctly what I read, "retirement" at 65 was instituted by the German Kaiser around 1914 or so (before the end of WW One, anyway) and it was for German civil servants. Pre-dating the U.S. idea by well over a decade.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,717 posts, read 49,511,045 times
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My paternal grandparents both worked for a cannery and got their 40-year pensions, in the early 1980s. That was after they had lost their farm in the Dust Bowl, migrating West, and working as farm-workers until they got into the cannery. I do not think that they pensions had any connection to their age, rather it was based on how many years they had worked for that employer.

My maternal grandparents never got any pension. They picked up SS when they were each in their 60s.

Prior to that time, I have no idea of how my great grandparents handled the topic. I think they worked until they died.

I did a 20-year pension, allowing for college, I was able to retired at 42.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:57 AM
 
13,345 posts, read 25,601,842 times
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Three of my grandparents (immigrants all) died before I was born and young. The American-born grandparent lived with family until going to the county home for dementia?/mental illness. My parents lived on Soc. Security until their deaths, a very modest very very modest life- he drove taxis and gambled all his life, and she waitressed intermittently. I had to look at other elders I knew to start to get a clue about saving money, as I had thought, "How do you save enough money to not work?" knowing nothing about investing, home ownership and other financial aspects.
Also, for whatever reasons, I didn't think I would live long-so much cancer in the family tree. I also think, as born in 1953, I had a heavy load of hippie-dip thinking, that is, living in the present and doing what you love blah blah and unwilling/unable to think long-term until I signed mortgage papers, failed at several ventures at "living the way you love," and doing some basic math. I hope other people are less tangled up than I was! But I'm well on-track now and happy to be so.
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,765,919 times
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Default This is the great luxury of retirement!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ukiyo-e View Post
.....Me, I'm semi-retired, doing science writing and editing for some clients from home, but I occasionally take on some (poorly) paid work at the non-profit where I regularly volunteer, partly to get out of the house. Living alone and working from home in a house surrounded by woods but with only one other house nearby is more isolating than I like, so for me, some part-time work outside the house is more for my mental and social well-being than financial reasons....
Nail hit squarely on the head! More than being able to sleep in, more than being able to choose (for the most part) not to be on the freeways during the most congested times, more than being able to play more golf (although personally I am not a golfer), more than the stress reduction, the great luxury of retirement is to be able to choose meaningful, gratifying activities without regard to the level of pay.

Like you, I do volunteer work and also a bit of paid work that I really like - in my case the pay is so-so ($37 per hour). I would do the paid work for free, but I don't make a point of telling the non-profit that in so many words; instead, I donate most of my pay back to them.
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:28 PM
 
26,166 posts, read 28,561,667 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
cite the whole statement... context counts.
It wouldn't have changed what I said.
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:32 PM
 
26,166 posts, read 28,561,667 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfingduo View Post
Excellent point. I don't expect to find the same level of employment if I lose my employment Sept 2015..
Yep, and I think that's the case for most folks who lose good paying jobs in their 50s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by golfingduo View Post
I will not need it since I am now 56 and will be 58 if that happens. I have made my plans and will have pensions available to me. I also have other resources so I count myself lucky and smart marrying DW. It is true that behind every successful man is a very brilliant woman.
Planning in advance and getting marred & staying married are both usually a great help to doing well financially.
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Old 04-23-2014, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Up North in God's Country
670 posts, read 819,691 times
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I can't say enough about saving, saving, & saving to retire early!! It is just the absolute best stage of your life, IMO. The house is paid for by then, the kids are out of the house and established in a job by then (hopefully), you still have your health (hopefully), and everything is wonderful!

However, it depends on what kind of retirement you want. Do you want to own two homes and be a snowbird? Do you want to travel all over, or are you content to take an occasional trip and stay home? Everybody has different dreams and goals.

See a financial planner while you are young, and take a financial planning course while you are young so that you understand finances. Make saving a priority in your life. Do you really need to have a new car every couple years? Just because you can afford a $250,000 home, do you really need to own a house that costs that much? You never know what life is going to deal you as you age, so plan ahead for emergencies...and save.

I had to retire early due to health issues, but I'm still fairly healthy. I am content to live a quiet life...usually a couple trips a year. I couldn't save as much as I wanted since I had to retire early, but I'm still okay financially. Fortunately, I like the quiet lifestyle.

If I could give young people one tip, it would be: Before you buy anything, ask yourself if you really need that or just want it.
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